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This ingredient is made from grain, usually barley, that has undergone a process of wetting and drying called malting before the brewer can use it. Raw grain is soaked and begins to germinate (sprout) releasing enzymes that help convert its carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. It is then roasted to stop the germination process. The roasting...

In the mid 2000s, brewers became obsessed with making the most bitter and palate crushing IPAs possible. This style of American IPA, or West Coast IPA, is a hoppy beer that primarily showcases hop flavours and bitterness. The East Coast IPA was created in part to offer a softly bitter, more palatable alternative to its...

In North America, craft beer is ubiquitous and local distillers are also carving out their niche in the craft spirits world. As consumers, we want to support local craft products, but why? What does it mean to be a craft brewery or craft distillery? Microbrewers make beer in single batches to ensure that each recipe...

Trappist and Abbey Ales are an elusive group when it comes to classification, as neither term denotes a single style. In general, categorization is based on amount of malt and relative strength – Single, Dubbel, Tripel and Quadruple where the Single is has the lowest ABV (below 6%) and the Quadruple has the highest (8-12%)....

Oxidation is the biggest threat to cask beer. As beer is drawn out of the cask air fills the space that remains. Air has an oxygen content of about 21% its effect on the flavour of beer is rapid and not very pretty. The presence of oxygen also encourages the growth of various non-beneficial bacteria...

Hops are the cone-like flowers of a female climbing vine in the cannabis family which can grow as tall as 18 feet. Hops contain oils, bitter acids, and resins that counterbalance the sweetness of the malted barley, add flavour, provide aroma, and help preserve the beer. Preservation is a key word – the same resins...

The lower carbonation, and warmer serving temperature, although not suitable for all beer styles, yields a more aromatic and flavourful brew that truly “tastes better and is less filling”. While many modern craft brews have their own merits when kegged or bottled there are no shortcuts that reproduce the undeniable charm of the cask-dispensed beer.

It’s finally December and ‘tis the season for roasty, malty, creamy, dark, delicious porters and stouts. But what’s the difference between a porter and stout? The history of the porter goes back about three hundred years, where it was brewed as a full-bodied beer made using moderately kilned brown malt. Stronger versions of porters were...

Aromas associated with beer mainly come from malt and hops. Malt can smell perfumy-sweet to rich and carmelly. Roasty, toasty, chocolaty are characteristics that come from more heavily kilned malts. Hop aromas are often described as herbal, perfumy, spicy, grassy, floral, piney, and citrusy. Brewpubs often offer beer for take-out that is poured from the...